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Linus Torvalds: 'I Still Want the Desktop'

serviscope_minor Re:Nobody else seems to want it (598 comments)


Yeah, people did use DOS for the filesystem access, so providing a TSR that hacked that layer allowed any program to access files on the CD.

I forgot about the mouse driver. That was some what standard by the end.

From memory, sound cards notably didn't have drivers built-in, or rather the only startup programs they had just set the ports and interrupts the cards used. (i.e. sb16set)

And then the programs tweaked the registers of the cards manually given that info. IOW they had the drivers built into the programs.

3 hours ago

Linus Torvalds: 'I Still Want the Desktop'

serviscope_minor Re:My experience this past month with Linux (598 comments)

You're missing a letter my friend, I said UX31LA..

Nope :) You had a typo, I believe.

Anyway that's curious. The UX21 works flawlessly with 14.04. The wifi was buggy before but the driver was fixed some time in 2013. Are you using stock ubnutu or using a different desktop environment?

5 hours ago

Linus Torvalds: 'I Still Want the Desktop'

serviscope_minor Re:My experience this past month with Linux (598 comments)

Out of interest, how well does OSX work on that laptop?

My guess is the experience will be even worse than with Linux.

The lesson here is that if you want a Linux or OSX laptop, you buy one that's known to run the OS of choice. In OSX's case, you go to an Apple shop. In Linux's case, you go to a Linux laptop shop like Dell or System 76 or a bunch of others.

It doesn't require an engineering degree you see, just a little nouse with purchases.

I'm curious which model you actually have: the UX41A does not exist as far as I can tell. Unbuntu 14.04 works perfectly on the UX21.

7 hours ago

Linus Torvalds: 'I Still Want the Desktop'

serviscope_minor Re:Nobody else seems to want it (598 comments)

if DOS needed them, then you would expect them to be provided with the hardware, you would install them, and then your applications would use them through the OS API.

Er have you ever used DOS. It provided almost no API at all. And the ones it did no one used. It certainly didn't provide any graphics. The BIOS provided a spectacularly slow interface to the VGA card.

The fact that you had to configure games specifically for your hardware means they were not "DOS drivers" but "game drivers".

No not really. The DOS model was it did fuck-all so if you wanted to use any hardware beyond the small range that was directly supported by the dos APIs and the BIOS then you had to provide all the drivers yourself.

Basically DOS did an OK job at files. And text out to the console. Everything else, graphics, sound, a mouse, joysticks, printers, scanners and so on was provided by drivers in the application program.

The only reason VGA worked uniformly is a whole bunch of manufacturers reverse engineered the VGA register map so that the specially written VGA drivers for dos stuff would work with their clone cards.

8 hours ago

Linus Torvalds: 'I Still Want the Desktop'

serviscope_minor Re:Nobody else seems to want it (598 comments)

This means that you have to have code review from the Linux kernel team. And you have to divulge any amateur or buggy code embodied in the source. Which may compromise the imaginary advantage your marketdroids think they have on other platforms.

God yes this. 1000 times this.

One particular example I remember well was TV capture cards in the early/mid 2000s.

Basically the chipset was the Brooktree BT878, which was actually pretty good though remarably cheap. I ended up with a few capture cards what people gave to me because "they didn't work".

That meant they didn't work on Windows. Every manufacturer wrote their own buggy, unstable, system crashy drivers and put effort into some god-awful shiny TV program which made heavy use of gradients and nonstandard TV controls.

On Linux, they all. just. worked. There was one BT878 driver that was well written and well debugged and "shitty" capture cards that "didn't work" gave years of stable, flawless performance.

The same thing cycled around with webcams. It was a wild-west of chipsets. They'd all work after a fashion on Windows. On Linux, they either worked perfectly or not at all due to lack of drivers. The ones that did work were invariable more stable and more featureful because the driver would be written to expose the full functionality of the chipset.

These days the situation is better on all platforms since the standards people have realised that having standard driver interface makes for a much better experience. xHCI means that any random USB chipset works. Same for bluetooth now too. UVC means any camer works and so on and so forth. It's like magic. You can buy a cheap-ass piece of crap from any random vendor and it will just work, no drivers, no hassle on Windows, Linux and OSX.

The thing is vendors are almost uniformly bad at writing drivers. On Linux this means they don't bother. On Windows the drivers are a pile of crap. Having centrally maintained drivers is in fact a large improvement on BOTH operating systems.

9 hours ago

Linus Torvalds: 'I Still Want the Desktop'

serviscope_minor Re:Nobody else seems to want it (598 comments)

The parent is grand bitching because he thinks th unstable API is the reason for the lack of drivers, rather than the reason being that manufacturers don't care for targeting Linux.

9 hours ago

Interviews: Bjarne Stroustrup Answers Your Questions

serviscope_minor Re:Shame (94 comments)

How is that deprecated auto_ptr working out for you?

Er huh? Old code using it still works does it not? Now you get a warning if you use it. I imagine you will have something approaching infinite time to remove it after you upgrade your compiler.

So it's fine. No problem in fact. I'm not sure what your point is?

The lambda syntax is hideous. Hell even Javascript makes it easy to declare anonymous functions!

Hideous is in the eye of the beholder, but hard to create anonymous functions in C++, it is not.

[&](auto x){ do something with x};

If you think that's hard, you should seriously consider another career.

An honest person wouldn't be afraid to admit that.

Where has he been dishonest? He's always admitted C++ has flaws. An HONEST person wouldn't cast false accusations.


If Fusion Is the Answer, We Need To Do It Quickly

serviscope_minor Re:They can produce tritium at fission plants (289 comments)

Not really. The critical mass for U235 is 50 kg or so, while for PU240 it's about 40 kg.

As the other poster pointed out, it's Pu 239 with a critical mass of 10Kg. The Fat Man pit weighed only 6Kg however. You can enhance criticality by compressing the pit (the implosion stage) and reflecting the neutrons back, to increase the per-neutron fission yield.


Operating Systems Still Matter In a Containerized World

serviscope_minor Re:what are you smoking? (126 comments)

Yeah but there's the memory penalty, and the conflicting CPU schedulers.

If you have 20VMs basically running the same code, then all of the code segments are going to be the same. So, people are doing memory deduplication. Of course that's inefficient, so I expect people are looking at paravirtualising that too.

That way you'll be able to inform the VM sysrem that you're loading an immutable chunk of code and if anyone else want's to use it their free to. So it becomes an object of some sort which is shared.

And thus people will have inefficiently reinvented shared objects, and will probably index them by hash or something.

The same will happen with CPU scheduling too. The guest and host both have ideas who wants CPU when. The guests can already yield. Sooner or later they'll be able to inform the host that they want some CPU too.

And thus was reinvented the concept of a process with threads.

And sooner or later, people will start running apps straight on the VM because all these things it provides are basically enough to run a program so why bother with the host OS. Or perhaps they won't.

But either way people will find that the host OS becomes a bit tied down to a particular host (or not---and thus people reinvent portability layers) and that makes deployment hard so wouldn't it be nice if we could somehow share just the essentials of the hardware between multiple hosts to fully utilise our machines.

Except that's inefficient and there's a lot of guess work so if we allow the hosts and the host-hosts to share just a liiiiiiiitle bit of information we'll be able to make things much more efficient.

And so it continues.


C++14 Is Set In Stone

serviscope_minor Re:Oh god so what? (189 comments)

The problem (as if there's only one!) is that the c++ committee members only have one thing in common: They hate C!

No, they all like C++, that's the one thing in common.

So you get a mix of people trying to bolt their favorite features from cobol, haskell, java, etc onto C. You know, to improve it.

You're an idiot and you've never clearly never followed the C++ standards committee process. Basically you're bitter because...

Maybe they should just stick to their failed language and leave the rest of us alone? are actually a genuine failuer. By the way, branding one of the most successful computer languages of the present day and all time as a "failure" does indeed make you look ignorant and bitter.

The second problem (as if there were only two!) is that they don't update the language to reflect what people what people are doing with it,

It's a balancing act. No one likes to use nonstandard features. They then add reatures which make writing the type of code that people actually write easier. So they do add features that reflect what people are doing with it.

That means adding features that no compiler can implement (like exported templates) or feature nobody can or should use (like std::vector or cout/cin)

My god, you're taking a few missteps from 16 years ago as why the committee today is bad? Is that the best you can do seriously?

And the only reason they put exported templates in is becuase of all the users clamouring for it.

Of course they're still full of dumb ivory tower ideas like adopting cairo.

Bsaically I've come to the conclusion that anyone using the phrase "ivory tower" is an angry, bitter, twisted person. Most likely both opinionated and stupid, but angry because no one will listen to their whitterings.

2 days ago

News Aggregator Fark Adds Misogyny Ban

serviscope_minor Re:ugh... white knights. (702 comments)

We wouldn't dare supress the "all men are pigs" posts made by the whack-a-doodle feminist faction

What do you mean "we"? If anything even vaguely approaching this comes up here, then people jump all over it.

Try that and you'll have the enire movement camped out on your doorstep with protest signs.

To me this sounds like a gross exaggeration. Do you have anything more concrete to back it up?

2 days ago

News Aggregator Fark Adds Misogyny Ban

serviscope_minor Re:Sigh (702 comments)

These things are not at odds:

It is not a political opinion, and it is not acceptable.

What? Fuck you sideways. I mean, I personally have no problem whatsoever with lesbigaytrangenderedetc people but I will stand up for anyone's right to do so.

I will also stand up for their right to do so. I will ALSO stand up for (and join in with) the right of other people to villify them. It cuts both ways.

2 days ago

News Aggregator Fark Adds Misogyny Ban

serviscope_minor Re:ugh... white knights. (702 comments)

And yet the feminists keep shrieking that ALL men are pigs, that ALL men are rapists or rape apologists, ALL men are oppressors.

Equating the entirety of a movement to its most crazy wingnuts is really misrepresenting it.

Perhaps Adam Savage and his ilk should try meeting an actual woman once in their lives. ...? I don't even know what this is supposed to mean. What would meeting an "actual woman" do? Do you mean a woman with some specific traits? Or do you mean literally any female?

And yet, one of these selfsame delicate creatures went to prison for killing her baby by putting it in a microwave.

I'm not sure what point you're trying to make except that you seem to like picking the most extreme examples of something and using them as somehow representative.

2 days ago

Women Founders Outpace Male Counterparts In Certain Types of Kickstarter Funding

serviscope_minor Re:See: Anita Sarkeesian (98 comments)

Yup. there are a lot of suckers out there. The people paying into her kickstarter are the chumps.

No they're not. Or, in other words you're making up your own definition of "sucker" and "chump" which more or less equate to "people I don't like".

It's not like it's some scam kickstarter where they hope to get some widget and the person responds with the money. No, she's a person known for producing videos on sexism and is now continuing to produce videos on sexism.

They'd be suckers if they were scammed into paying for something they wanted and never got it. Instead, they get to chuck a little bit of money at someone they like to a reasonable approximation to continue doing what they like her doing.

In other words, they knew what they were paying for and have got what they were paying for. That's more or less the opposite of a sucker.

She's also been found to be a fraud

[citation needed]

2 days ago

Women Founders Outpace Male Counterparts In Certain Types of Kickstarter Funding

serviscope_minor Re: Women should earn more than men. (98 comments)

Both genders are expected to conform to the stereotype, and are punished for not doing so.

Yes I 100% agree. This is essentially what I was driving at.

2 days ago

Munich Reverses Course, May Ditch Linux For Microsoft

serviscope_minor Re:Surprise? (568 comments)

Oh sure, it seems very popular in the architecture world. It's just that since I've been arguing on the internet about Linux (since '98) people have always been holding up some very niche program as THE reason that Linux won't succeed etc.

I meant: why is it always Autocad [that's held up as the reason Linux won't succeed].

It's an important niche, but a niche nonetheless.

2 days ago

Women Founders Outpace Male Counterparts In Certain Types of Kickstarter Funding

serviscope_minor Re:See: Anita Sarkeesian (98 comments)

Well, complaining about behavior while engaging in it is like slapping a 'kick me' sign on your back and then using all the kicks you get as 'proof' of your victim status.

No, to use your odd analogy, it's more like going online to complain that jerks keep kicking her, then a bunch more jerks join the party to kick her just because she called them jerks for wanting to kick her.

I know you though. You're a regular on feminism threads (as am I!) and you seem to be convinced that women are doing far better than men and everything is about hating men and making them worse or something.

2 days ago

Women Founders Outpace Male Counterparts In Certain Types of Kickstarter Funding

serviscope_minor Re: Women should earn more than men. (98 comments)

Women receive more sympathy from society than men, it's called the gender empathy gap. It also contributes to why the vast majority of homeless are men, lack of battered men's shelters despite spousal abuse being split 50/50 between the sexes, significantly higher suicide rate in men, etc.

Yes this is all true.

Anyone who hasn't noticed this is brainwashed by feminism,

Actually feminism is about equality for men and women. If we become truly equal then that will no longer be a problem (along with a whole bunch of other shit). There are plenty of equally damaging beliefs about men and women.

Mostly there's a dichotomy of men are ATTRIBUTE_X and women are -ATTRIBUTE_X.

So men are seen as "tough" and women as "delicate" which is fundementally sexist. It also happens to hurt men as well as women because not all men are in fact "tough" and as you pointed out men need help too.

But that's actually not the root cause.

The assumption behind sexist things is that women are somehow lesser. This means that a man with attributes (e.g. what you said) which are seen as "traditionally female" is assumed to be a "lesser man" because he's more like a woman. And people don't like helping a lesser man because why bother, right?

That's the flip side of the same sexism that feminists don't like. If women are no longer seen as lesser, then men in those situations are no longer seen as lesser men. At that point they'll just become "people in need of help", not lady-men in need of scorn.

In other words, fighting sexism is win-win.

2 days ago

Munich Reverses Course, May Ditch Linux For Microsoft

serviscope_minor Re:Open Source Integrated email/calendar/phones/et (568 comments)

nothing open source can touch MS Outlook + Lync. Individual products have some of the functionality, but nothing has it all, and nothing has it integrated like MS.

It's fucking terrible! No wonder there's no OSS software which can "touch" it. Seriously, I'm convinced Lync is the reason MS bought Skype.

I don't think I've had one conversation where Lync hasn't decided to randomly screw up the microphone and speaker settings of one participant. The meetings would invariably start with a 5-10 minute prelude as people tried to unpick the mess Lync had got itself into where for example (my computer *loved* doing this) it would use the hedset headphones for audio out but the computer microphone (not headset) for audio in giving terrible but sort-of-audible call quality. Oh and forsome things you have to restart the call because for some things it won't let you change the settings while its ongoing.

Oh and the volume settings---WHAT THE FUCK? I never thought I'd say this but Lync and Windows made me long for pulse-fucking-audio. Seriously. PulseAudio. I actually missed that little fucker ofter going the Windows route for a bit. How the fuck can pulseaudio ever be the better choice?

And the desktop sharing is worse than skype and laggy and generally crap.

The Lync conversations are integrated with Outlook suuuuure, except ^F no longer works and Find ahs gone from the menu! What gives? Sure it's possible to convince it to search but what the fuck?

And yes it likes shitting emoticons all over any code you paste in lync. Sure you can disable it... for a while. And then it decides that yes actually you DO want emoticons in your code. *Poof*

Oh and the Lync client for 2010 doesn't work on many Android phones, and the 2012 client isn't compatible with 2010 servers.

I love it how lync file transfers don't have a "resume" feature like what has been in http since nearly forever. Yes you've got 95% of the nice big download, butyour network farted so enjoy waiting another 3 hours to redownload evewrything again!

OWA if fucking terrible.

OUTLOOK is fucking terrible. It has completely utterly broken quoting. This encourages people to fuck around with fonts and colours because by default it's more or less fucking impossible to tell who has replied to which bits of an email.

And switching to "plain text" emails is the most shockingly unreliable thing I think I've ever seen. It is amazingly terrible. Quite astonishingly so.

Seriously who gives a fuck if its integrated? You've just integrated a turd with a piss. Big-fucking-woop.

In my next post I'll tell you how I REALY feel.

2 days ago



Ask slashdot: Clusters on the cheap?

serviscope_minor serviscope_minor writes  |  more than 2 years ago

serviscope_minor (664417) writes "Dear Slashdotters,

A friend of mine has recently started a research group. As usual with these things, she is on a shoestring budget and has computational demands. The computational task is very parallel (but implementing it on GPUs is an open research problem and not the topic of research), and very CPU bound.

Can slashdotters advise on a practical way of getting really high bang for buck? The budget is about 4000 GBP (excluding VAT/sales tax), though it is likely that the system will be expanded later.

The computers will probably end up running a boring Linux distro and Sun GridEngine to manage batch processing (with home directories shared over NFS?)."

Best removable storage filesystem for Linux?

serviscope_minor serviscope_minor writes  |  more than 4 years ago

serviscope_minor (664417) writes "What filesystem do you use for portable disks, especially large ones, under Linux? FAT is simply not very good. Using a proper filesystem (e.g. ext3) preserves the read/write permissions of the original machine which is rather annoying when the disk is moved to a different machine with differet user IDs. So is there a way to have a good filesystem that supports all the unixy things such as symlinks, and an execute bit, but does not require lots of chown'ing as root when moved to a different machine?"

ARM Based netbook.

serviscope_minor serviscope_minor writes  |  more than 5 years ago

serviscope_minor (664417) writes "Shopping in Robert Dyas of all places (note to non English readers, this is a fairly generic hardware store and has only a small selection of electronics at best) I noticed Inkia ARM based netbooks being advertised, though careful readers will note that the specs seem to differ slightly. The specs are the usual netbook ones along with an 800x480 screen 64Meg RAM, 1G flash and a 400 (or maybe 533MHz) Samsung ARM processor and WinCE. So, it looks like the first non-x86 netbooks have arrived. Sadly, this one is rather expensive, being slightly cheaper than the EEE 2G, with a painfully small amount of RAM, less storage and battery power. But this brings up several interesting questions: are they going to get much cheaper, are there ones with more memory, and will it run OpenBSD? The specs are very similar to the Sharp Zaurus 3000 series which runs OpenBSD very well, but running Firefox in 64M is somewhat painful."

Liquid explosives: no danger and no plot.

serviscope_minor serviscope_minor writes  |  more than 5 years ago

serviscope_minor (664417) writes "It has already been established in a previous article that bringing down an aircraft with liquid explosives mixed on a pllane would be very difficult. The men accused of the plot werer brought to trial and a verdict has now been reached. There was not enough evidence to convice any of them of targeting a plane. So apparently, there was not much evidence of a plot that could not have worked anyway."

Good profiling tools for C/C++ unser un*x?

serviscope_minor serviscope_minor writes  |  about 7 years ago

serviscope_minor (664417) writes "It should be well known to any developer that you should only optimize parts of a program which need optimizing. And the way to find those parts is through profiling. This simplifies one point: profiling is difficult. The obvious way is to enable profiling in the compiler and use gprof, but this has problems. Firstly there is no point in profiling a program without turning on -O3 (or which ever), since this can change the results dramatically. Secondly, -O3 will inline functions which can ruin profiling results by making them far too coarse. Even if it doesn't do this, there is no way of determining which part of a function is taking up all the time. So that brings me to my question: does anyone know of profiling tools which do not suffer from these problems? My platform is C++ (using g++) on Linux."

serviscope_minor serviscope_minor writes  |  more than 7 years ago

serviscope_minor (664417) writes "You heard earlier today that Dell will be shipping Ubuntu on selected models. Naturally, this is interesting to slashdotters. However, the interest generated by a wider audience will ultimately be more important. Well, apparently, this is the 3rd most popuar topic on the BBC at the moment. So apparently this is interesting to a general audience. I believe that this bodes very well for the future."


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